Despite hesitations, Squamish invests money with fund that could have fossil fuel ties | Squamish Chief

Despite hesitations, Squamish invests money with fund that could have fossil fuel ties

When faced with keeping $5 million in a savings account or investing it — even though a small portion of it may be in fossil fuels — District of Squamish council decided to go ahead with investing in the Municipal Finance Authority's mortgage fund.

On the high end, the fund would yield about 2.6% interest for the town.

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"Originally, the intent for this one was to be fossil fuel free, however, because we need some kind of liquidity sleeve — about 10% of the fund — so that there is some liquidity in it, some of the short-term bonds may be invested in some companies that may be related to fossil fuels," said Linda Klassen, the acting chief financial officer.

Klassen said they could alternatively try to put it in a high-income savings account with a similar yield.

On March 3, after some back-and-forth over whether the municipality should invest in a fund that could potentially contain fossil fuels, council voted 4-2 in favour of doing so.

It will be for three to five years.

"I would rather the money be in a mortgage fund than sitting in a Scotiabank account, with it having no requirements around fossil-fuel free," said Coun. Jenna Stoner.

Councillors Chris Pettingill and Armand Hurford were the dissenting votes. Coun. Doug Race did not vote, as he was absent from that meeting.

During the meeting, Klassen recommended that the municipality invest $5 million in the Municipal Finance Authority Mortgage Fund.

The fund invests only in first mortgages on income-producing property in Canada.

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